Chinese high-tech giant Lenovo lost further ground to worldwide PC leader HP in the final quarter of past year, as it struggles in the face of a globally sluggish market and lack of traction for its newer mobile devices, according to new data released on Friday.
That sales of traditional PCs have been in decline for some time has been no secret: The explosion of interest in smartphone and tablet devices and their increasing utility coupled with a lack of need for regular upgrades outside the enthusiast, gaming, and high-performance workstation markets mean that sales have been on a continued downward trend including IDC's 2013 reporting of the single biggest quarterly slump since it started tracking shipments in 1994. The numbers still show the market is weak, but coupled with a year-over-year decline of only 0.2% shows that the market may actually be stabilizing, the company said.
This growth indicates that the PC market may be steadying, though it is still weak, according to IDC. It also claimed that organizations were shifting their attention back to notebooks, with the tablet market in a state of flux. This was the sixth year of PC shipments being in decline but Gartner analysts are optimistic for the future. This will increase PC average selling prices (ASPs) and help profitability in the long run. "However, the growing popularity of other mobile form factors continued to have a dampening effect and led the overall U.S. PC market to perform below expectations".
In terms of individual companies, HP Inc. pulled further ahead as the top company, maintaining its lead through every quarter of 2017.
In Europe, the United Kingdom was blamed by Gartner for contributing to a year-on-year shipment decline of 1.4 percent, down to 21.8 million. Japan also exceeded forecasts, although shipments were still in decline. Lenovo had moderate growth in EMEA and Asia/Pacific, but shipments declined in North America.
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"However, the USA market saw a steep decline, which offset the generally positive results in other regions".
Gartner noted that PCs are no longer popular holiday gift items, and that they have become a more specialized, purpose-driven device.
The growth saw Apple boost its market share from 7.7% in Q4 2016 to 8.2% in the same quarter a year ago ... "Outside of the U.S., Lenovo made solid gains growing 3.9% year-over-year with solid notebook shipments during the quarter". ASUS saw its shipments decline 11.2% year over year in 4Q17.
IDC said 2017 marked the most stable year for the PC market since 2011 with annual shipment volume of 259.5 million units. The consumer market stabilized thanks to online promotions in many countries, which drove demand for gaming PCs and thin and light notebooks. For the entirety of 2017, it puts the decrease at 2.8 percent. 'Enticed by a growing array of products that promise all-day battery life, high portability, and address emerging use cases that require more compute power, pockets of the consumer base are taking a serious look at these revamped PCs. Lenovo came in second with 22.2 percent, and Dell followed up in third with 15.7 percent.